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Andy Lynes

Anthony's, Leeds

474 posts in this topic

(How do you make a consomme of potato for heaven's sake? Or are we talking consomme with some potato in it?)


you don't win friends with salad

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Stunning review in the yorkshire post by robert cockcroft.

'Is anthony's the most interesting, innovative and challenging restaurant to have opened in leeds-in yorkshire- in the past 20 years?'

'it is just 20 years (!) ago since this column began and a dinner last week was amongst the six best i've had in that time'

'these are early days. One thing is sure: this wandering lad from wakefield has followed his star. one may now follow him.'

not just me then!

review might be on www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/restaurants but it's not working at the mo.

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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Robert Cockcroft is to restaurant reviewing what Eddie the Eagle was to our chances of winning a gold medal at ski jumping. Pleeese.

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Robert Cockcroft is to restaurant reviewing what Eddie the Eagle was to our chances of winning a gold medal at ski jumping. Pleeese.

I couldn't care less about your view of robert cockcroft's credentials, but if his article manages to publicise, and go someway to ensuring the success of one of the most interesting restaurants to open in the uk then that is good surely?

don't take my word, or his for it, go and try it. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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I really hope this place is a success, the cooking is already at 1 star calibre and given Tony’s only 24 and spent more time in the last six months with a paintbrush than a knife the omens are very good.

They used to say that you knew you were getting old when the policemen looked young. Now it's the chefs :-)


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Gary thank you for your message (privately), a massive big up to you. but if you e mail me with your personal address i can tell you how the cockroft name sticks in so many throats (no i can't it's probably slander. but he's a laughing stock).when matthew fort retires lets hope he loves 'tetleys'. or just food, eh bobby!.

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Saturday brought the minor event of my 34th birthday and in the spirit of sharing the ‘pleasure’ of my custom with my favourite restaurants (lunch on Friday at no3, dinner at my local st vincent arms), Saturday saw Mrs Marshall & myself on the train heading to Leeds for lunch at Anthony’s.

The usual friendly greeting from the staff was aided with a good glass of champagne, and menu perusal. I was pleased to hear that business has been extremely brisk with most evening services sold out and after the Yorkshire Post review they had to turn down 120+ requests for tables (at the mo they are only doing 25 covers), so luckily it would seem Leeds does get it!

Eventually we wandered to our table, first amuse was the infamous ‘upside down beer’ that tony had been perfecting over the last few weeks. This was a small handled glass with an almost frozen head of guiness at the bottom of the glass, topped up with guinness and we were given a spoon with chocolate bonded to it so you could get a spoonful of everything with each mouthful. Technically very clever and hit the spot.

Second amuse was my favoutite jacketless potatoes, as everything on the menu is in a state of perpetual improvement these had a slightly lighter casing and the same unctous potato/vanilla filling, just a great dish, and despite being told repeatedly, how they are made/what they are made of, is still a bit of a mystery!

Third amuse was a duck terrine, not a huge chunk of pate put a tiny almost ‘large postage stamp’ sized slice of a very, very fine confit leg terrine, with a real salty edge, perfect, light anf yes I would quite happily each a huge chunk of it but that’s not the point!

I’ve forgotten the bread too which was the usual white loaf this time with salted and parmesan butter which is very moreish.

For starters sarah had crab salad (well dressed salad of crab, green pumpkin seed praline) this was a round thick disc of salad with a dressed cone of salad leaves and the seeds around it. The bit I had was very light and the salad dressing spot on. My starter was anjou squab on jabugo ham with pink grapefruit drops. This was a diamond of jambugo with a rare breast neatly sliced on top with a very reduced stock drizzled on the plate. The pink grapefuit drops were hand picked out of the whole grapefuits, very laborious but the sort of attention to detail happening here.

For the main course I had roast duck with olive oil chocolate bonbons which also came with 2 tiny potato fondants (cooked in duck fat I later discovered-yum!). The instruction was to break the bonbon and release the choc, I of course did as told. And thought it worked well. Sarah had the salt cod and pork belly cannellloni from my initial trip and enjoyed it so much I only got a very small portion.

There were of course pre-deserts and damn fine they were, but I can’t quite remember what was in it!

However deserts were excellent, wifey went for cheese which I thought there wouldn’t be much they could do with but I was wrong, it was four perfect squares of cheese with what looked like celery but was actually pickled celery with a spice added to give it a kick. A great surprise, the cheeses were all excellent. I wished I’d had a course of that before my desert and despite it being my birthday I was only allowed a small taste of them too! My desert was a coffee timbale with yoghurt mousse marshmallows, this was a cylinder of white chocolate with the finest coffee/toffee-ish filling, and the yoghurt a nice sour counterpoint. I liked this a lot.

We had coffee 7 p4’s this time a dark chocolate ganache(? Semi solid slice) covered in a sort of spanish popcorn which was excellent in a sweet/savory way.

A swift calva to finish and with a highly abstemious only-one-bottle-of-red (a michelot nuits st georges) the bill was £115 ex service and comped champagne.

I’m sure that those heading up north in april will really enjoy the food, it really us somewhere that is trying very hard to make a mark, I think if michelin cotton on soon they’ll get a star in February, if the fat duck can get three, then in a few years I’d expect at least two for Anthony’s. It’s certainly not going to be for a lack of hard work that stops them, he’s in the kitchen at 6am starting the bread and there ‘till 1am!

Cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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He’s in the kitchen at 6am starting the bread and there ‘till 1am!

Good lord! Get that man a dozen unpaid stagiaires immeadiately.

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Gary,

I *really* want to eat there now. Thank you!

Now I'm not being a shallow southerner here (i'm actually from the midlands) but what else is there to do in leeds? Other than shop in harvey nicks ;-)

I tend to go abroad for weekends as, well, it's a bit different to my usual haunts. I tend to prefer something that's really different to London (polite shop assistants, air you can breathe, paying less than 5GBP for a pint etc etc)

What would you suggest as a good Leeds weekend plan? I hate walking. So no countryside pursuits :-)


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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Tarka,

there's certainly a strong case for a visit to leeds for the food alone now.

a weekend taking in anthony's and 3 york place would be a good trip.

get a train up friday night (2hrs from kings cross) book yourself into quebecs townhouse *or 42 the calls and have dinner at no3, saturday as you say there's shopping, i'm sure there's culture too, but i tend to ignore that :biggrin:

You could jump on the train for 1/2 hour to York and have a wander round the touristy bits or have lunch then train back, dinner at Anthonys and train back sunday lunchtime.

if you want more specific details give me a shout

* if you are interested check with no3- i think they can get discounts here, it is a very nice small hotel in walking distance of station and both restaurants.


you don't win friends with salad

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If you are seeking culture in Leeds in addition to the food then you could try catching a play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse? Try http://www.wyplayhouse.com

Agree with Mr Marshall (is that too formal?) that York would be fun for a day visit, but you could also go to Harrogate for Betty's tea rooms or the Turkish Baths (if they've reopened yet - but they are marvellous!) for some pampering.

Salts Mill (with the Hockney pictures, great Home shop and nice Diner / Cafe) is only 15 mins by local train from Leeds station too - and is quite possibly one of my favourite places in Yorkshire.

Hope this helps - could go on for hours but am trying to be restrained.

Cheers

Yin

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Agree with Mr Marshall (is that too formal?)

no, that's fine by me, but i prefer sir for choice :biggrin:

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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(drops curtsey and tugs forelock) - yes sir!! :smile:

BTW Tarka - clearly there are Betty's tea rooms in York and Ilkley etc as well - so plenty of chances to worship at the altar of cake ...

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(drops curtsey and tugs forelock) - yes sir!! :smile:

BTW Tarka - clearly there are Betty's tea rooms in York and Ilkley etc as well - so plenty of chances to worship at the altar of cake ...

ahhh. cake.

you've sold it to me. am offically planning a trip to leeds.

loads of questions to follow :-)


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I came across eGullet while searching for info about Anthony's.

Went last night for my birthday and was generally impressed by the setup.

Two odd things, one the bar didn't seem to understand a kir - it had to be explained and stirred! and two we had overlong waits between amuse starters and main courses. I'm pleased to say that the staff knew this and offered us a complimentary champagne after the main course as compensation.

Gary has already described many of the menu items - I had the black sesame icecream with warm chocolate fondant dessert and it was amazing, imagine sesame oil turned into icecream.

Generally a great addition to dining in Leeds and somewhere that I expect is going to generate interest from around the region (at least).

David

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welcom to egullet david,

hopefully you can join gary as our "oop north correspondant"!

lord knows i never venture out of zone one so it'll do me good to broaden my horizons :-)


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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BTW Tarka - clearly there are Betty's tea rooms in York and Ilkley etc as well - so plenty of chances to worship at the altar of cake ...

Betty's are also in Harrogate and Northallerton and in general I would avoid the York outlets as they tend to be full of tourists, the Ilkley branch with its beautiful marquetry is my favourite. and a Fat Rascal has to be the thing to accompany your beverage of choice.

David

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The main room of the York 'outlet' of Betty's is a magnificent space inspired by the design of the Queen Mary. It would be a shame to avoid it.

Anyway, here is a little review of Anthony's.

I was offshore for my birthday, so a belated meal was planned. It was going to be 3 York Place, but I am already familiar with Martel Smith's brilliance, so I chose Anthony's instead.

It sounded like the new 'experimental' cooking so close to my heart and my wife had already had a little tour of the premises.

It seems that both father and son are called Anthony. The restaurant is very much a family affair, with the chef's sister serving at the bar as well.

As I say, it was a birthday celebration and my wife first led me down a side alley to a door that said 'Room' I'm not sure how anybody would know it was there, but it was a trendy cocktail bar and restaurant. Reasonably busy for a Wednesday night and I can recommend it for lovers of unusual cocktails. It was here that we ensured our ultimate disgrace by sinking two weird, but nice, combinations of alcohols each.

With these time bombs inside us, we walked the short distance to Anthony's. I had tried to book at 8.00, but had been offered 8.30. The restaurant didn't fill up, so I assume this was to spread the load on the kitchen. My wife had already been assured that they do not turn tables.

The bar has a seating area with large leather armchairs and sofa that doesn't allow many to sit at a time. We could have had the two chairs, but they are too far apart. We enjoyed sitting at the bar anyway, but smaller chairs, more intimately arranged, might work here. The idea is of a lounge where cigars may be smoked, but I'm not sure how practical that's going to be.

We sat at the bar and enjoyed the house champagne. A blanc de noirs of a little known house in Epernay. (if I took notes, I could tell you the name) It reminded me of a good Cava. Neither here, nor in Room, were there any nibbles. Come on Leeds! Drinking without eating is a vice the northern countries should be trying to rise above.

I asked if there was a tasting menu, but the chef is settling in with a more limited menu first. I am not sure their description of 'a la carte' suits what is a menu of four choices for each course. Anyway, it is the type of menu we like to see and it has already been described in this thread.

It was announced that the chef was ready for us and we were led downstairs to a very impressive space. Beautifully laid out with very comfortable leather chairs.

The first amuse was a gentle palate cleanser of, I think, raspberry sorbet with an orange vodka sauce poured around.

Now a small slice of terrine of confit duck with smoked oil. This was a wonderfully concentrated morsel that seemed to be essence of duck. Very good indeed. The smallest course got the biggest plate though.

The service was perfect throughout and very friendly. The waitress commented on how interested we seemed in the terrine and I told her how much we had been looking forward to coming to this restaurant. I asked if she knew of eGullet and she informed us that the chef views it every day, to help him gauge opinion of his progress. Well at least that is a good reason for spending time on this nonsense. She mentioned Gary Marshall and I said I would write a few words as well. She even asked my name so the chef could look out for it.

Next came the onion risotto with espresso, for my wife and the pigeon with jabugo ham for me. The risotto had a robust parmesan 'air' and was an excellent starter. The pigeon was perfectly cooked and the combination was magical.

The main courses of rabbit saddle with beetroot sauce and breast of duck with chocolate bonbon were also perfectly cooked and very harmonious. The duck had some wilted little gem lettuce underneath that I felt was fighting the other flavours. The waitress said it was there to contrast the sweetness of the parsnip and chocolate. I told her, and the maitress d' later, that this chef had no need for such caution. The duck and chocolate combination was brilliant and any contrast should be presented on a separate plate.

This brings me to a criticism of our meal. The courses were of the perfect nature and size to be part of a larger meal. We feel the chef should have surprised us with one or two extra courses. It is very good value, so I can heartily recommend that everyone has two starters before their mains. I suppose that the kitchen 'brigade' will expand to meet the demand.

There was a pre-dessert but we can't remember it. Why should this be?

Well, I had ordered our usual amount of wine for a night's fine dining, but the cocktails were kicking in. We had a fairly ordinary viognier and a half of a nice Beaujolais, with a glass of a very nice, amber, Monbazilliac with dessert. We were glassy eyed by now, but I remember the dessert was good. My wife had the deconstructed tatin, which was a rosti of caramelised apple. My chocolate fondant was made from excellent chocolate with a black sesame seed ice cream. This was very good but it melts to a less than attractive grey.

Now, either the staff were trying, very wisely, to get as much coffee into us as possible, or this is one of the few restaurants that is generous with coffee. There are not many, are there? Restaurants have enthusiastically embraced the economy of serving espresso, but without the simple hospitality of offering a refill. So full marks to Anthony's on this... and nearly everything else.

So after a chat with our Spanish hostess about our favorite chefs and how to pronounce El Bulli properly (Doh), we were poured out the door. I was so far gone, I signed my credit card slip and forgot to leave a tip. I'll be correcting this when I return and it won't be long.

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A pretty unreserved thumbs up for Anthony's from Jay Rayner in todays Observer.

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I was lucky enough to have a tasting menu at anthony's on saturday lunchtime with few foodie friends who had ventured up north to try anthony's (only £19 return pre-booked on gner, if you fancy it).

unfortunatley i haven't got time to write the meal up fully at the mo, but as a blatant tease, here's some of the post dinner comments....

'one of my best meals ever',

'one of the meals of our lives'

'i can hardly wait to return here'

and my favourite

'this place pis*es all over the fat duck' :biggrin:

the 15 elements that comprised the lunch will take a while to write up!

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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Gary - I do hope you'll write it for us though.

C'mon, you could do one course per day!


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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i'll definitely do it, just finding the time to do it justice, also got atelier robuchon to do as well :biggrin:

gary


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Saturday saw five of us hit Anthony’s for a specially requested tasting menu to show my southern friends that the real hotbed of gastronomy at the moment is neither london or ludlow but leeds.

I think their train journey from London was much more pleasurable than mine from York. I always seem to find myself on the henparty/football express and was seemingly the only sober person on the train, although I was slightly alarmed when a I got a text saying they were just heading through manchester when they meant wakefield! Southerners!

I showed them the sights. We went first to number 3 york place to check out the menu there, unfortunately they are closed Saturday lunch, but I think the ‘pork 3 ways’ was the choice of the group.

All this walking had made us thirsty, a quick trip to all bar one helped out, and in true to form, they were amazed how cheap the drinks were-southerners!

We then ventured to show them leeds best restaurant, no, not Anthony's, not number 3 not even pool court but ‘the living room’ (well the best according to observer food monthly readers!). The girls got stuck into cocktails whilst scott and I stayed true to the calling (carling?) of lager.

Suitably refreshed we headed to Anthony’s. First impressions, everyone seemed to like the bar but were so intriuged they didn’t want to hang around in the bar for an aperitif, they wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Olga had sited us at a large square table with plenty of room for them to display the dishes, we had elected a ‘menu surprise’ so just had a brief guide to what to expec for wine purposes and went for a ‘fits many styles riesling’ at £20.

First: upside down chocolate guinness. Tony has just about perfected this dish now, the menu here is in constant evolution, I had this 2 weeks ago and although good and clever (the head is removed, frozen, placed in the glass and topped up with guinness) It tasted quite definitely of guinness, not a problem if you like guinness like me but I could see it not suiting all tastes. However now it is much less intensely guinness and the small raspberry and chocolate accompaniment leaves a sweet finish- excellent and impressive starter.

Second: Jacketless potatoes: again fantastic, no discernable difference from last week. Probably my favourite food discovery this year. Rest of the table were equally impressed , they were also impressed with the way Olga knew exactly how the dishes are made, there was very little she couldn’t explain.

Third: Cod scratchings, apple and celeriac puree these were cod skins treated like pork scratchings with a dip, very unusual, the ladies weren’t as keen but as per usual scott and I scoffed them happily.

Fourth: Candy beetroot and mango ravioli now you may see this written here and think it sounds like silly food, I can assure you it’s not. The finest pasta covering the filling, a good palette refreshing sort of dish I thought. The advantage of not knowing the menu meant no preconceptions.

Fifth: asparagus , yoghurt and olive oil, 3 tender sprue asparagus with a mousseline looking sauce which was in fact the yoghurt dressing.

Sixth white onion risotto, parmesan air and espresso. I had this on my first visit and thought it impressive. This dish doesn’t need evolution, this was one of the best risottos ever, and I like to think of myself of a good risotto judge!

Seven: roast squab, pickled garlic ravioli. Concensus was this was the best dish. Perfectly cooked squab with an almost flower of finally mandolined garlic slivers, on the side just fantastic to look at and even better to eat.

for the reds we a chorey-les beaune £26 i think

Eight: Rack of seabass, lemon puree scallop tartare. Another stunner both in looks and execution, it now seems an obvious thing to do but I’ve never seen it before, a fillet of sea bass with exposed ‘ribs’ all french trimmed of course with a puree, not of the zest, or the full lemon, but the white pith! Accompanied with a scallop tartare of such precision cutting it was breathtaking.

Nine:Rabbit spiced bread + beetroot and mango puree. This was 3 delicate cylindrical fillets of rabbit covered in pain d’epice with the purees. Another visual and taste stunner.

Ten: cheese, having missed out on the cheese on my birthday I asked to slip in a quick course here. We had 2 platters of 4 cheeses each again all perfectly kept and again the garnish had altered, not just pickled celery, but tiny grape pieces and puffed pumpkin seeds. Again the attention to detail shows, Tony could easily have left it at celery but no, he takes it that bit further and then further still, they picked out the un-souffled seeds as well!

we had an ischian desert wine to go with the cheese and deserts.

Eleven pineapple cream, without cream: funnily enough a creamy pineapple dish, as they said without cream in a tall shot glass.

Twelve:reconstructed apple tatin, the finest innards of tarte tatin you will ever have, hust no pastry but the absolute essence of tarte tatin!

Thirteen: warm chocolate fondant + black sesame ice cream. A great fondant and the ice cream very moreish.

We then retired to the bar for coffee and calva thinking we were done, but no

At the bar

Fourteen: chocolate fennel- a sort of sikh kebab on a stick of choccy rolled in chopped fennel tufts

Fifteen: chocolate kikos a rectangle of chocolate ganache rolled in kikos seeds, a sort of spanish popcorn.

Sixteen: chocolate sherbert dips: little cellophane bags filled with a mixture I think of the kikos seeds and choccy, stuck well to the spoon provided.

We then had a pleasant hour or so chatting with anthony senior and sister holly before out respective trains back home. A great afternoon.

It is a measure of the calibre of this restaurant that a brigade of two can turn out such perfect food. Everything was perfectly cooked. It was then down to personal taste what you thought was the best, nothing was over cooked, underseasoned or on the plate for no reason. Also Tony had given us several ‘works in progress’ and you couldn’t tell them from the ‘old’ menu dishes, even last minute sauce changes were undetectable until he told us later what the original plan was.

This restaurant is going all the way, if you want to be able to say you went there before it got its stars then get booked in, because there’s no doubt in my mind if they can keep up the opening pace & deliver this quality of food to a full house then that’s where they are heading.

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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Thanks Gary. Do you do a full Leeds Culinary Package, with a reduced rate 'Anthony's and a swift pint' tour for the soft southerners? :biggrin:


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Thanks Gary. Do you do a full Leeds Culinary Package, with a reduced rate 'Anthony's and a swift pint' tour for the soft southerners? :biggrin:

tour, yes

reduced rates, no :biggrin:

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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